A young sailor named Sinbad and his sidekick Ali find a map to a fabulous treasure and stow away aboard a ship in an effort to get to where the treasure is buried. They eventually convince ... See full summary »
A young sailor named Sinbad and his sidekick Ali find a map to a fabulous treasure and stow away aboard a ship in an effort to get to where the treasure is buried. They eventually convince the ship's captain to change course and help them find the treasure. Along the way they come up against a wicked Vizier, a giant bird, vicious whirlpools and other obstacles. Written by
ADVENTURES OF SINBAD - an early Japanese animated feature
This fluidly animated 1962 adaptation of a famous Arabian Nights tale was part of a group of early Japanese animated features that included PANDA AND THE MAGIC SERPENT (aka HAKUJADEN, 1958), ALAKAZAM THE GREAT (aka SAIYU-KI, 1960), and THE LITTLEST WARRIOR (aka ANJO TO ZUSHIOMARU, 1961), all of which got some release in the U.S. SINBAD, the weakest of the group, remains a curio for anime fans and Arabian Nights buffs, but will be slow going for anyone else.
Sinbad and his young sidekick, Ali, stow away on a ship. They have a treasure map for a distant island and convince the captain to change course. After a stop at a seaside kingdom, Sinbad, Ali and their crewmates are imprisoned by the Grand Vizier, but the Sultan's daughter, Princess Samir, frees them and runs away to join them on their ship.
Not much really happens until about an hour into the film when they finally get to the island where all the adventures occur. In the last 15 minutes, the heroes get trapped in a whirlpool; battle a giant Roc, a horde of flying jellyfish, and the Grand Vizier's troops; and ultimately find a cave filled with jewels defended by a giant bird statue with unique weaponry of its own.
Overall, despite the climactic action, the whole production is just a little too slow and solemn, unleavened by failed attempts at comic relief by two goofy crew members. The solemnity may be a side effect of the stilted English dub and the heavy-handed new English-language songs supplied by the American dubbing crew along with a steady stream of tacked-on music cues detracting from the original score.
None of this is helped by the fact that the only available tape seems to be made from a faded, choppy 16mm print of the original U.S. release version. It's practically devoid of color, having faded entirely to reddish-brown. At 76 min., it's also five minutes shorter than the original Japanese running time. This is one animated feature that cries out for restoration and reevaluation.
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